In the fair's Agriculture Building, colorful displays show an impressive array of produce, all of it grown in Fresno County. For some taking a look around, the fruits and veggies evoke a sense of pride. "It makes us special. It may not be Detroit for cars or China for whatever and all that... this is ours and it's really unique and special," said fair visitor Paul Neidhamer.
But just one building away, China's impact and imports can be seen all around. One booth in the commerce building features all kinds of hats. Some were made in the U.S. but many were manufactured elsewhere. Workers told Action News the patriotic and military hats are some of their most popular items... but labels on those hats showed they were made in Vietnam and China. There, the owner said it's hard to find American made products and when you do, the price makes it hard to make a profit.
Toys for sale in the Commerce Building also had "Made in China" labels. Vendor Ken Corona said it comes down to money. "That's why most of this stuff isn't made in America. Because if you can buy something for $.50, $1, you make money, you live. If you have to spend $5 on something like this, you can't get $10 for this. People won't pay it," said Corona.
Of course, plenty of other things sold at the Big Fresno Fair are made right here in America, including the sweet treats at Hazel's Shasta Fudge Company. "I'm working to try to sell something that's good quality. And we do have good quality in the United States," said worker Liz LaFrance.
The flags at the Uncommon U.S.A. booth also show "Made in America" labels. A salesperson at the booth told Action News customers do ask about where the flags and their flag poles are manufactured, especially around election time.